Best Of Tucson®

Best Doorway To Another World

Side Chapel at San Xavier

1950 W. San Xavier Road

STAFF PICK: Just west of the main portals of the mission, in a little outbuilding that isn't always open, is one of the most intimate and comforting spaces in the city. The best time to go is after dark on a cold winter evening. Inside you'll find the glow and warmth of hundreds of candles, in the presence of the saints. Mary is there, in all her guises, and the pink candles offered to her scent the room with a rosy perfume. St. Jude is there, intervening in hopeless cases; San Martin with his broom, looking out for the poorest of us; sometimes even Jesus Malverde, unobtrusive on a bottom shelf, protecting drug traffickers. The stillness, the warmth, the shimmering light, the company of saints and the smell of wax offer a timeless sense of peace to every visitor.